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Treat people like adults

When it comes to causing – and addressing – the Climate Emergency there is a hierarchy of impact. Governments and big corporations are at the top. Progressive ones will take radical action, others will have to be shamed into doing anything at all.

Housing too has to take its share of responsibility – reducing emissions, building more efficient homes and taking an holistic approach to carbon are imperative.

And then there’s us as individuals. We all have to do our bit to tackle the Climate Emergency for sure. But I get really frustrated when our big idea seems to be ‘educating’ residents so that they can properly use our latest technological wheezes. The fact is that we have sold people too many pups in the past – remember Economy 7? We are champions at promoting systems and devices that over promise and under-deliver by a wide margin.

As the Optimised Retrofit Programme is demonstrating we should always start by listening to residents – whether our aim is decarbonise existing homes or designing the eco-homes for the future. We all have an interest in the Planet so let’s treat people like adults.

Keith Edwards is is an independent consultant and lead associate for Housing Quality Network Cymru

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